Week 1 Day 2 – In for the long haul

So here I am. Sitting down finally after a long supposed day off! I have far too many commitments that take me away from the things I love to do, running included. However today I decided to start with the thing I wanted to do most, which was to run.

I should have completed this run in the week as it was just a short interval session of 3 km. Maybe I should have done it on the treadmill, but I was desperate to run outside in the sunshine, instead of inside when it’s dark!  Winter is such a difficult season for running when you live out in the sticks. It’s invariably dark when I get home and my choices are immediately limited; it’s either run in the town (a twenty mile round trip) or run on the treadmill.

I don’t mind running on the treadmill or in the town, but nothing is better than running through the countryside on a clear, frosty day!

I decided that my dog should come too because he loves running with me. He is one of the best behaved dogs I’ve had, completely happy to be a companion and run at my heels. He’s good company for me too. Running can be a lonely occupation and I’m not good at running in a group.

We headed into the woods that lie between our houses and the shore. It’s a lovely piece of managed woodland which the owners are happy for walkers (and runners) to use when they aren’t working the timber. When they are there are usually plenty of warnings and alternatives routes you can use. During the summer they cleared a huge part of the woodland, making a mess of the tracks at the time, but then regrading them later on. This has made the tracks far better for me to run on.

Although I had the iPhone attached to my arm with Jeff Galloway’s app running I also had the Garmin running, just as a back up and also because I’ve had battery issues recently and I need to know that it is working properly now.

Basically my run was to consist of a 2 minute warm up walk (I did about 4, just getting to the start of the forest!) followed by a 5 minute easy run and then 4 x 400m runs at faster than race pace separated by 200m walks. Jeff advised me to head for the running track; I headed for the muddy track!

I started off on my 5 minute easy run only to be confronted by this:

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The recent strong winds had brought down this fir tree, blocking the path. Luckily it hadn’t quite reached the dyke at the side of the road and I was able to pick my way round.

I was surprised. I thought I was going to be struggling doing the faster sections, but they were almost comfortable. At the moment I know I couldn’t maintain that pace for an entire race, but I’m only on day two!

 I ran downhill for the first two speedier sections and uphill for the last two. Undoubtedly I would have been faster and less tired on a track, but what I got today was a good all over workout, which is what I needed. I haven’t been feeling quite “right” lately and maybe it’s a bit of seasonal adjustment disorder. In any case being outside in the sunshine, no matter how cold it was, was exactly what I needed and I felt set up for the day.
I finished my run about a third of a kilometre from the road, but it didn’t matter. I just walked and took some photos on my phone to show my friends what my running route was like. Next run is a 10k which I won’t get a chance to do outside until Wednesday. The forecast isn’t great, but I’m looking forward to dedicating an hour or so to that on my day off.
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